Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Foraging Extravaganza

In anoles, as is the case for most reptiles, most of what we know about their diets comes from studies of stomach contents from museum specimens. Over the last three weeks, we have observed brown anoles capturing a diversity of prey items. Below are a couple of video clips of anoles foraging on prey items that I found somewhat surprising. The first one shows a male foraging at the intertidal zone during low tide. Our observations indicate that anoles commonly visit the intertidal zone where they forage for marine isopods. YES, marine isopods, which I am guessing might have a high salt concentration, which raises interesting questions about possible physiological mechanisms to deal with salty prey. The use of the intertidal zone occurs more often in cays where curly-tailed lizards are absent.

In the second video, a male brown anole is foraging up in the "canopy" and tries repeatedly to eat a small berry. Interestingly, or maybe not, we have observed this behavior (i.e., foraging for fruits) on islands where curly-tails are present.

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